According to my publishing schedule, I write an article about body image every Thursday that usually details accepting a ‘flaw’ or an improvement in my level of self confidence. When I came to writing this week’s post, I found myself staring at an empty screen, waiting for inspiration.
I waited and waited and waited… but nothing came.
That’s not to say that I am insecurity free and suddenly think I am the hottest woman on the planet, but more that I just could not think of what was so important about my body that I needed to write about it.
I am not for one second taking my body for granted – I love it. Without it, I couldn’t be here typing this blog, keeping an eye on the time so I know when to get ready For my book club. Without it, I wouldn’t be here.
But when I write about it so frequently, I sometimes feel like I am focusing all of my attention on the physical. I sometimes feel that by talking about body image so much, I only serve to focus all my attention on what you see when you look at me, but what you see is only part of the picture. My exterior shell is not all that there is to me. If anything, it’s a very small part of who I am to say it is something I write about and celebrate every week.
And, no egotistical statement intended here, there is a lot for me to celebrate, things that have nothing to do with how I look. This week alone, my interview with Louise Mence has been sharing with over 70,000 followers by the ADHD Foundation. My writing is part of the new Campaign to End Loneliness ‘Be More Us’ campaign. It’s Jack’s birthday tomorrow and I have planned him a million and one surprises to make the day perfect for him. All of these things are part of me, things I have achieved and things I have done, but when I focus so heavily on my body, they are parts that I ignore.
It’s great to celebrate body acceptance. It feels amazing to look in the mirror and think ‘damn I look gooood!’, but high fiving myself for wearing an outfit I might have shied away from in the past shouldn’t be more important than my thoughts on who I am becoming, the things that I am doing that make me proud and the steps I am making to grow as a person.
I see the quote ‘imagine how many businesses would cease to exist if women started liking themselves’ all the time, and it’s true. Imagine a world where we didn’t have to focus on our appearance, where traits like kindness, helpfulness and friendliness mattered more than the make of our clothes and how we wore a red lipstick. That’s the world I want to live in.
Of course, I still like to see how people wear their read lipstick, but I know that this isn’t all that there is to a person and it isn’t the only thing I want to know about them. I will continue to celebrate my improvements in confidence and applaud the improvements that others share too. I will continue to talk about flaws, insecurity and self belief, because I believe that they are important, but I will also make sure that I step away from those narratives every now and then. I will talk about what I have learnt, what progress I have made in other areas, how I am evolving as a person. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, and I never want to lose sight of that fact.